|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, at Opening Ceremony for World Rowing Championship,
Calls Sport ‘Powerful Weapon against Discrimination’
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Republic of Korea, on 24 August:
Good evening, everyone. Thank you very much for your warm welcome. I am delighted to celebrate the opening of the 2013 World Rowing Championships.
The United Nations is an international organization, so I am happy to see competitors from around the world. Welcome to Korea. Welcome to Chungju, my hometown. I thank the people of Chungju and Mayor Lee Jong-bae, and I welcome all the athletes from all different countries.
Sport promotes peace and progress. I have seen this around the world: at the Olympics in London; in the eyes of young people; and in the triumph of persons with disabilities who show that the human spirit can beat any adversity.
The United Nations is using sports to help realize our vision for a better world. You are also joining forces with international organizations. I applaud the strategic alliance between the International Rowing Federation and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Sport is a powerful weapon against discrimination. Athletes at professional games come together in a spirit of friendship. There is no room for any type of discrimination at sports events. I count on you to be part of our team. Rowers know better than anyone the importance of moving together towards a common goal.
Your challenge is to win the race against each other. But, we, as a human family, are in a race against time to address poverty, hunger, disease, environmental degradation and climate change. The United Nations is leading a global effort to rise to the challenges of our day.
I wish everyone the best of luck in your competition at this year’s Championships. I know that when it comes to making our world a better place, you are already all winners. And I wish you all the best.
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